How Many Times Can You Take the ASVAB? Essential Insights and Strategies

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Considering a military career? The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is your gateway. But what if you don’t get the score you need on your first try? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. Many aspiring service members wonder how many times they can take the ASVAB to achieve their desired results.

Understanding the rules around ASVAB retakes can help you plan your path more effectively. Whether you’re aiming for a specific military job or simply want to improve your score, knowing the retake policy is crucial. Let’s jump into how often you can sit for this important exam and what you need to keep in mind.

Understanding the ASVAB

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) plays a pivotal role in determining your military career. It assesses your strengths and potential for various military occupations.

What Is the ASVAB?

The ASVAB is a multiple-aptitude test battery created by the Department of Defense. It measures your skills in areas like math, science, reading comprehension, and mechanical comprehension. Scores help the military place you in roles where you’re most likely to succeed.

Subtests include:

  • Arithmetic Reasoning: Solves arithmetic word problems.
  • Word Knowledge: Tests your vocabulary.
  • Paragraph Comprehension: Evaluates your ability to obtain information from written material.
  • Mathematics Knowledge: Assesses your math skills.

You take the ASVAB at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) or a satellite MET site.

The Importance of the ASVAB for Military Enlistment

Your ASVAB scores determine eligibility for enlistment and job qualification. Each military branch has minimum score requirements. For example, the Army requires a minimum AFQT score of 31, while the Air Force requires 36.

  • Job Assignment: Higher scores expand job opportunities.
  • Enlistment Bonuses: High-demand roles often come with financial incentives.
  • Career Advancement: Your scores can affect promotion eligibility.

Preparing for the ASVAB ensures you have the best opportunities available in your desired service branch.

Rules on Retaking the ASVAB

Understanding the rules for retaking the ASVAB is critical. Retake policies influence how soon you can improve your score and pursue your desired military career.

Initial Testing and Retake Policies

After your initial ASVAB test, you can retake it to improve your scores. Military branches typically allow one retest after a month. If you need another retake, you must wait six months. This policy ensures you have ample time to prepare and enhances the fairness of the testing process.

Time Restrictions Between Tests

Time restrictions between ASVAB attempts impact your preparation strategy. After your first retake, you must wait one calendar month. A six-month wait period follows if you require a third test or more reasons. These intervals are designed to encourage thorough preparation and ensure you make significant improvements.

Strategies for Improving ASVAB Scores

Knowing how to boost your ASVAB scores is key to revealing better opportunities in your military career. Let’s jump into practical tips and solutions from experts to help you perform better on the test.

Study Tips and Resources

Effective studying involves using the right strategies and resources that align with your learning style. These tips can make a significant difference:

  • Set a Study Schedule: Allocate specific times for study each day. Consistency helps retain information.
  • Use Official Study Guides: Official ASVAB study guides offer accurate practice questions. Books like “ASVAB for Dummies” simplify complex concepts.
  • Enroll in Prep Courses: Online courses and tutoring offer structured lessons and personalized feedback. Providers like Kaplan and Khan Academy are popular choices.
  • Practice Tests: Taking full-length practice tests familiarizes you with the test format and timing. Use sample tests from reputable websites.
  • Focus on Weak Areas: Identify which sections need improvement. Concentrate more study time on these areas.
  • Study Groups: Join or form a study group with fellow test-takers. Collaborating with peers can provide new insights and motivation.
  • Flashcards and Apps: Memorize vocabulary and formulas using flashcards or mobile applications. Apps like Quizlet offer a fun way to study on-the-go.

When to Consider Retaking the Test

Retaking the ASVAB might be necessary if your scores don’t meet the requirements for your desired role. Here are indicators for considering a retake:

  • Score Analysis: After receiving your results, compare them with the required scores for your target military occupational specialty (MOS).
  • Minimum Score Thresholds: If you scored below the minimum required by your preferred branch or MOS, a retake is advisable.
  • Test Anxiety: If nerves affected performance, a retake with better preparation can help you achieve higher scores.
  • Additional Study Time: If you didn’t allocate enough study time initially, consider scheduling more preparation before retaking.
  • Career Goals: Determine if higher scores could qualify you for jobs with better advancement opportunities or benefits.

By focusing on these strategies, you can improve your ASVAB scores and enhance your military career prospects.

Impact of Multiple ASVAB Attempts

How Repeated Testing Can Affect Your Military Career

Retaking the ASVAB affects your military career in various ways. A higher score increases your eligibility for more specialized and desirable roles, opening doors to different career paths within the military. Improved scores boost chances for bonuses, promotions, and advanced training programs.

But, taking the test multiple times may signal to recruiters that you struggle with certain areas, which could affect their perception. Balance the benefits of a higher score with the importance of consistent performance across various ASVAB attempts.

Record Keeping and Score Reporting

ASVAB records are maintained by the Department of Defense (DoD). Each score reports to recruit commanders for evaluation. The most recent score counts, so if you improve, that’s what matters. But, all scores remain in your record and could be reviewed, impacting decision-making in your favor or against you.

It’s essential to prepare thoroughly before each attempt, ensuring score improvements reflecting true capabilities. Use official study guides, practice tests, and consider retakes only after substantial preparation. Balancing preparation time with real-life commitments is critical to achieving your desired results effectively.


Understanding the ASVAB’s role in your military career is crucial. Each attempt at the test offers a chance to showcase your strengths and improve your prospects. By focusing on thorough preparation and strategic retakes, you can enhance your performance and align your scores with your career goals. Remember to keep track of your scores and use them to guide your study efforts effectively. With dedication and the right approach, you can make the most of your ASVAB attempts and pave the way for a successful military career.


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